Ester and Vini owner to open CBD trattoria

Author: Maggie Scardifield
Photography: Philip Castleton

There's a host of restaurateurs opening new venues in Sydney's CBD in 2016. And just when you thought the city couldn't possibly deal with another hot-ticket opening, the man behind some of the most transformative restaurants to open in the past five years has announced he'll be following suit (or suits, rather.)

Chef and restaurateur Andrew Cibej is best known for his Surry Hills restaurants Vini, Berta and 121BC, along with Ester in Chippendale.

If all goes to plan, the new 50 to 60 seater will open on the corner of Ash Street and Angel Place mid-2016, a spot Cibej secured with the help of China Doll restaurateurs Steve and John Anastasiou, his partners in the new venture. "It's a killer site," says Cibej. "Quite the dining oasis."

The enoteca-style that he perfected in Surry Hills will be in full force across a lunch and dinner service; picture an updated "Vini-ish" vibe with a little more outdoor seating for Spritzes and stuzzichini after work.

"Straight up and down city tratt," he says. "Birre, pasta della casa, a couple of proteins. Not fancy, just good."

Next door there'll also be a more casual 20-seat café and bar doing panini and cornetti at breakfast and lunch, along with coffee.

As for the booze? "The beverage offering will be slightly more pragmatic than now," Cibej says, "but should still give most city lists a shake." Nothing too vast, just tidy.

While the name is yet to be decided on - "unfortunately 'no name' is already taken" - and a chef is yet to be confirmed, Cibej is adamant it won't be him.

With a host of other CBD diners opening in the new year (Hubert on Bligh Street, Nathan Sasi's Mercado in Angel Place and a new Da Orazio among them) it looks like the nine-to-fivers are in for a treat.







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